Time’s Up Reaper Hot Sauce (Tomato Blend) Review

Edge of your seat heat, sweet tangy tomato flavor…

Check your willingness to explore the edge of super-hot if you pick up a bottle of Pepper Palace’s tomato-based Time’s Up Reaper Hot Sauce. While not as hot as some inferno-level hot sauces, it punches and hard from the first taste. But unlike many of those extreme sauces that lean into the heat and away from taste, there’s a real flavor in Time’s Up – a garden-y tomato base with garlic and onion undertones, perfect for wings, eggs, and much more. That is, as long as you can take the heat.

What’s in the Time’s Up Tomato Blend Reaper Hot Sauce?

There’s a long list of ingredients to bring this bold sauce to life:

  • Distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • Tomato paste
  • Garlic powder
  • Reaper Pepper Powder
  • Lemon juice (lemon juice concentrate, water, sodium bisulfite, sodium benzoate)
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Xanthan gum

This is a hot sauce that relies heavily on powders, instead of fresh ingredients. And there’s a likely reason. The Carolina Reaper is potent, and fresh garlic and onion tend not to be as bold and aggressive as their powdered equivalents. Garlic and onion powder, are, in fact, a benefit to make sure the flavor delivers as expected.

The heat: On the edge of extreme

The extremely hot Carolina Reaper pepper is the sole heat source here, and really – why would you need more? The Carolina Reaper ranges from 1,200,000 to 2,200,000 Scoville heat units (SHU) – as of today it’s the hottest pepper in the world. To give you an idea on heat, It actually crosses over into the heat of military grade pepper spray (starting at 2,200,000 SHU) in its hottest form.

Now, you aren’t getting the full Reaper heat impact in Time’s Up hot sauce as It’s diluted among the tomato paste and other ingredients. And Pepper Palace doesn’t try to artificially bump things up with super-hot pepper extracts here (a good thing). Instead you get a very big heat, yet still the opportunity for a decent amount of flavor. It isn’t quite super-hot, but it’ll likely be the hottest sauce most have ever had. Think of it like the heat of a strong fresh habanero (100,000 to 350,000 SHU, not habanero hot sauce), and you’ll be close.

The heat isn’t a slow burn. You’ll feel Time’s Up sting very early. It lingers for a few minutes, but not as long as some ghost pepper hot sauces.

The flavor: Tomato sweet tang, garden flavor undertones

It’s not a guarantee with sauces this hot that you get a decent eating experience, but Time’s Up Tomato Blend delivers here. It’s a garden-y tang: You’re hit with the tomato tang and sweetness (reinforced by the Carolina Reaper’s natural sweetness), and underneath is a layer of garlic and onion. As mentioned, it’s all based on powders not natural ingredients to pair well against extreme heat. The end result tastes terrific since the flavors star for only a few seconds before the heat becomes the dominant experience.

Usability: Useful where tomato sauce or ketchup are used

The tomato paste base gives Time’s Up a lot of versatility. Add it to Italian marinara to spice up your paste. Use it as a wing sauce or to fire up your eggs. Really, anywhere where you’d think to use tomato sauce or ketchup, a few dashes of Time’s Up can enhance the flavor.

Overall: Wimpy eaters, steer clear; adventurous eaters enjoy a bottle

There’s a big fiery sting waiting for you in a bottle of Time’s Up Reaper Hot Sauce, so if you can barely handle a jalapeño, this hot sauce is not your next step. If you’re comfortable with fresh habanero-level heat, then pick up a bottle. The tomato base provides a lot of use cases, and the flavor still shines through even with the extreme heat.

Pick up a Time’s Up Hot Sauce at Pepper Palace’s website.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on September 5, 2019 to include new content.
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